Every month, we will highlight a popular dog breed at risk for arthritis. This month, we are focusing on the Boxer, the 11th most popular dog breed. Learn more about this active, fun-loving dog, why we love them and how to keep them healthy.
Despite their name, Boxers are more lovers than fighters. These beautiful dogs are usually happiest when surrounded by their family. If you think Boxers are a fighting dogs, think again. Boxers are agile, athletic and active as a dog breed. They are also beautiful and have an interesting history of how they became what they are today. Read on to learn about their history, what makes them unique and health problems to be aware of for this attractive breed.
If you search for “Boxer” in your browser, you may get a variety of boxing moves or professional boxers to come up as search results. Boxer as a dog breed is quite different. Which might make you wonder how Boxer dogs got their name. Some say the name Boxer came from the breed’s tendency to play by standing on his hind legs and “box” with his front paws. Some believe the name came from the fact they have "boxy" head shapes. Others believe German names of the past may have been "Boxl or Boxel" breed, which changed over time. While no one really knows, what we do know is the Boxer breed is one of the best ones out there. Ranked as the 11th most popular dog breed, it is clear there is something magical about these beautiful creatures. Read on to find out more about the beautiful Boxer!
History of the Boxer
The Boxer’s ancestors have been traced back war dogs in the Assyrian empire around 2,500 B.C. Today’s Boxer as we know it, were bred in 19th century Germany as a cross between an English Bulldog and the now-extinct larger, heavier breed called the Bullenbeiser. In medieval times the Bullenbeiser was Germany’s premier big-game hunter, used to take down large animals such as the bear, bison and wild boar. As times changed in Germany during the 1800s, these lavish hunting excursions came to an end and a dog this size was no longer needed.
From there, the large Bullenbeiser was crossed with a smaller, Mastiff-like breed from England. After many trials, by the late 1800s, the modern Boxer emerged as the sleeker and more attractive dog breed we know today. Over the years, Boxers have done many jobs: cattle dogs, war dogs, police dogs and guide dogs.
The AKC registered their first Boxer in 1904. However, the breed didn’t truly flourish until after 1951, when the Westminster Best of Show Winner was a Boxer named “Bang Away.” The dog became a national celebrity with an interesting breeder story behind him, who some say were the reason "Bang Away" was “the greatest Boxer to ever step paw in an American show ring.”
5 Reasons We Love Boxers
- Boxer PUPPIES!
All puppies are cute, but check out these Boxer puppies. So sweet!
- Terrific Temperament.
Boxers are surprisingly loving. Many think they may be better at fighting, given their name. Today’s Boxer is known for being good with families and children. These dogs are high-energy and easily trainable. Do your best to keep your Boxer active mentally and physically.
- Working Dogs that Love Working.. and Playing.
Boxers were bred to work. Because of this instinct to work, they love having an active lifestyle that includes activities with their pet parent. No matter the task, a Boxer is smart and hard-working at heart.
- Easy to Care for.
Because Boxers have short hair coats, their grooming needs are simple. This makes them easy to care for, which is an advantage to any home adding a dog. Simply bath and brush them occasionally and you have a healthy dog! However, just be prepared to pay extra attention to the wrinkles on their face. They often need to be wiped down as build up can hide in those big wrinkles!
- Variety of Boxers
There are many different colorizations of Boxers. Boxers come in three colors: Fawn, Brindle and White. The main color is considered Fawn, which is a variety of tones from light to dark. Brindle, is two or more tone color patterns. White is a minority, and some say they are more likely to have hearing problems.
What gives the Boxer its personality are the mask they were born with. It can make them look happy, sad or goofy at times. The Boxer's mask standards are black, black and white markings and some with white only markings. These masks add to their playfulness and extreme expressions they offer.
The Boxer is loyal, smart and with a strong work ethic thanks to years of breeding. Boxers have skyrocked in popularity, almost making it into the Top 10 dog breeds:
- AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 11 out of 196
- Weight: 65-80 lbs. (male), 50-65 lbs. (female)
- Height: 23-25 in. (male), 21.5 – 23.5 inches (female)
- Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
- Group: Working Group
Celebrities and Boxers
There are many celebrities hanging out with Boxers. Dog behavior expert, Cesar Millan, has Boxers as his fur-kids at home. He believes dog breeds say a lot about the people who love them. Here's what Cesar has said about people who have Boxers in their lives:
"Boxers are busy dogs that exude high amounts of energy. People that own boxers are said to live life to the fullest and are known to be extremely playful. Boxer owners are busy, love life, and quickly welcome strangers as new friends. Boxers banish stress with their silly and playful demeanor and their owners are generally happy-go-lucky people."
— Caesar Millan, Dog Expert
That said, here are a few celebrities known to enjoy Boxers:
- Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Becall, are considered Hollywood royalty from the Golden Age. They were married in 1945. They received a wedding present of a Boxer puppy from a friend and Pulitzer Prize winning author, Louis Bromfield. The puppy was only a week old, and he was named Harvey. The couple were enamored with how smart Harvey was. They soon acquired two more Boxers: George and Baby.
- Today, people may more easily identify with the likes of Justin Timberlake, who has two Boxers.
- Hugh Jackman
- Cameron Diaz
- Kim Kardashian
- Miley Cyrus
- And many more!
Top Health Problems of Boxers
It is very important to be sure that you keep your Boxer as healthy as possible with key preventative measures. But first, here are the key health problems to know about when it comes to your Boxer:
Struggle with Extreme Temperatures. Unlike other breeds, the Boxer has a short coat and it really is not thick. This means the Boxer often has a hard time in extremely cold temperatures and extremely hot temperatures. While this isn't a health problem, it is something to consider when adding one to your family if you live in extreme climates.
Cancer. Boxers are prone to several types of cancer such as lymphoma, skin cancer and tumors.
Canine Hip & Elbow Dysplasia. Active, agile dogs often have issues as they age within their joints. It is important to keep regularly monitoring their mobility and be on the look out for changes in the way they do common activities and willingness to move.
Osteoarthritis, or arthritis in dogs. Because of the joint problems already mentioned, Boxers are at very high risk for osteoarthritis. It is important to make regular assessments of your dog’s mobility.
An easy way to check in on your dog’s mobility is to take the Arthritis Quiz every 6 months to help prompt you what you should be looking for. It is always a good idea to use joint supplements for Boxers as a preventative measure to keep their joints in good health for as long as possible.
Arthritis is as painful for dogs as it is for humans. And just like humans, there is something you can do about it. Learn more about arthritis in dogs and check out all the risk factors.
Glyde™ Mobility Chews
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Preventative treatment for your lovable Boxer is a great way to keep them happy and healthy longer in life. We love our Boxers! What do you love about them? Let us know on our Facebook page!